The University’s various graduate programs have once again received high marks in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools Rankings, a widely-read publication.
The University’s Medical, Law and Education Schools all moved up one spot in overall rankings from last year and improved in several specialty areas. The Engineering and Business Schools both moved down a rank, but stayed in the top 15 in their respective categories.
The Ross School of Business graduate programs moved down from 13th to 14th, sharing the position with the University of California, Los Angeles. Harvard University and Stanford University tied for first place in the business school category.
The University ranked first in higher-education administration and second in secondary-teacher education. The School of Social Work was also ranked number one in the nation, tying for first with Washington University in St. Louis.
The School of Information achieved strong rankings with the information systems and archives and preservation programs rating number one in their divisions.
Within engineering specialties, the University ranked second in both nuclear engineering and industrial manufacturing and systems engineering.
University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said the University is pleased with the rankings, but cautioned that students should rely on other factors as well when choosing the university they want to attend.
“(U.S. News) is perhaps the most widely recognized ranking of U.S. universities,” Fitzgerald said. “We know that there are lots of people who pay attention to the rankings, but I would just underscore that it’s one piece of information. It takes much more than just looking at the rankings to decide what’s the best place for you.”
The University’s Medical School retained its position in eighth place for primary care and moved up two spots — from 10th to eighth — in research medicine. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranked first in primary care, while Harvard University topped the list for research medicine.
Medical School Dean James Woolliscroft said he rarely pays much attention to the rankings, instead preferring to focus on how students of the Medical School perform after graduation.
“In general, the U.S. News rankings are rankings that I don’t pay much attention to with one exception … the assessment score by residency directors of our medical student graduates,” Woolliscroft said. “I look at … how we’ve done, how our students are viewed by the program directors they will be going to in the next step of their training.”
Woolliscroft said alumni of the Medical School tend to fare very well in their various positions.
“As residency positions have become ever more competitive, we pay a great deal of attention to how our students are doing nationally,” Woolliscroft said. “I’m very pleased that we continued to be in a tie for second place as to how our students who graduate are viewed by program directors.”
Woolliscroft also encouraged students to look beyond rankings when choosing the best medical school, citing a school’s environment, faculty and current students as other important factors.
“Obviously they’ve already looked at things like academic stature,” Woolliscroft said. “It really comes down to how they see themselves really meeting their aspirations at that particular school.”